Lina Bo Bardi Bowl chair 1951

  • MoMA, Floor 3, 3 North The Philip Johnson Galleries

Bo Bardi’s approach to design and architecture was centered around the concept of “humanizing art.” Guided by this philosophy, she conceived the Bowl chair according to the proportions of the human body. It features a four-legged steel frame and semi-spherical seat, which allows the sitter to adjust their reclining angle. In 1953 Bo Bardi’s design gained prominence when it graced the cover of the US magazine Interiors, with the designer herself as the model. The accompanying article described the chair as “womb-like” and a “cuddle bowl.”

Gallery label from Crafting Modernity: Design in Latin America, 1940–1980, March 08, 2024 – September 22, 2024
Additional text

El enfoque de Bo Bardi hacia el diseño y la arquitectura se centró en el concepto de “humanizar el arte”. Guiada por esta filosofía, concibió la silla Bowl de acuerdo con las proporciones del cuerpo humano. Cuenta con un marco de acero de cuatro patas y un asiento semiesférico, que permite al usuario ajustar su ángulo de reclinación. En 1953 el diseño de Bo Bardi ganó prominencia cuando apareció en la portada de la revista estadounidense Interiors, con la propia diseñadora como modelo. El artículo adjunto describía la silla como “parecida a un útero” y un “bol para acurrucarse”.

Gallery label from Crafting Modernity: Design in Latin America, 1940–1980 (en español), March 08, 2024 – September 22, 2024

Valuing geometric simplicity and economy of means, Bo Bardi designed the Poltrona Bowl Chair with a steel frame and a stackable seat containing two circular cushions. The shell on the metal ring can be adjusted in all directions to suit the desired position of the sitter. Bo Bardi, who emigrated from Italy to Brazil in 1946, played a lead role in advancing modernist architecture and design in postwar Brazil. Among the landmark buildings she designed was her São Paulo home, the Glass House (Casa de Vidro, 1951), which she furnished with Poltrona Bowl Chairs.

Gallery label from Making Space: Women Artists and Postwar Abstraction, April 19 - August 13, 2017
Steel and fabric
21 5/8 × 33 1/16 × 33 1/16" (55 × 84 × 84 cm)
Committee on Architecture and Design Funds
Object number
Architecture and Design

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